Petition Drive Takes Aim at Nationalized Health Care

Petition Drive Takes Aim at Nationalized Health Care
August 3, 2009

Diane Bast

Diane Carol Bast is The Heartland Institute's executive editor and finance manager. As executive... (read full bio)

As Congress and the Obama Administration step up their efforts to nationalize health care, the National Center for Policy Analysis has launched a petition drive at freeourhealthcarenow.com to educate the public about free-market health care reforms.

As of July 30, more than 865,000 Americans had signed the petition that will be delivered to the Congressional leadership. The goal is to reach at least one million signatures.

“If ObamaCare is successful, it will create a terribly bureaucratic and dysfunctional health care system. Millions will lose the insurance they now have, the government will determine what kind of insurance you can have, and a national health board will have the authority to deny treatment,” said NCPA President John C. Goodman, Ph.D. “That’s why we created a petition that demands patient-friendly health care and protects our right to choose the best health care for each of us and our families.”

Under the Obama proposal, the federal government will increase its health care spending by $1.5 trillion over the next decade. The government will create a highly regulated, artificial marketplace. As a result, employer-provided health insurance will unravel. Today’s individual market will vanish, as will the small group market.

Won’t Address the Problem

In the absence of a competitive market, Medicaid will necessarily expand, and most people will receive health insurance exclusively through a government-subsidized and -regulated “exchange.” Goodman noted the government reforms will have no positive effect upon the principal problems of health care cost, quality, and access:

* Increasing cost. The current proposals contain no effective cost-control provisions. Moreover, the increase in health care spending will exacerbate medical inflation.

* Decreasing quality. The proposed “exchange” will perversely incentivize health care providers to under-provide to the sick and over-provide to the healthy. Under the government-run plan, the amount of bureaucratic interference in the practice of medicine will increase dramatically.

* Limited access. Under the government-run plan, demand will increase, supply will remain constant, and, as a result, overall access to care will decrease as relatively more patients fight for the attention of relatively fewer doctors.

“These proposed changes can impose on all Americans the inefficiencies and dangers found in Canada and Great Britain,” added Goodman. “If they succeed, most Americans will be forced into a government-run health insurance market and enrolled in a government-run health plan. Most Americans will enjoy less choice, more limited access, and an increased tax burden.”

Key Elements of Reform

The “Free Our Health Care NOW!” petition campaign emphasizes four key elements in health care reform:

* Choice: The right to choose your own doctor and a health insurance plan that fits your family’s needs and budget.

* Access: Receiving the care you need when you need it.

* Fairness: If you have to pay for your own health insurance, giving you the same tax breaks available to people who get their insurance through their employers, and having government assistance redirected to those who truly need help.

* Responsibility: More control over your own health care decisions and a health care system that encourages everyone to eliminate fraud, waste, and abuse.

To sign the petition, go to www.FreeOurHealthCareNow.com and fill out the online form.


Diane Carol Bast (dbast@heartland.org) is executive editor of Health Care News.

Diane Bast

Diane Carol Bast is The Heartland Institute's executive editor and finance manager. As executive... (read full bio)